Politics and Free Speech

Mary Helen Spooner

in The General's Slow Retreat

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780520256132
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948761 | DOI:
Politics and Free Speech

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The most serious threats to the freedom of expression came from the State Security law, which allowed officials to bring charges of contempt against their critics. Repealing or amending the law was not high on the congress's list of priorities, although it was the subject of periodic debate. Not until April 2001 did congress vote to remove article 6 (b), which allowed military chiefs, judges, and members of congress to bring charges of contempt against their critics, and article 16, allowing authorities to seize publications deemed insulting to public officials. “In Chile, freedom of expression has a limit,” José Joaquín Brunner, the Frei government's spokesman, told the New York Times: “I know of very few governments in the world that do not allow their citizens to protect themselves from slander by filing lawsuits. The same is true in Chile”.

Keywords: Chile; Chilean congress; senate; freedom of expression; State Security law

Chapter.  6489 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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